A Tough Gig
The end of 2016 feels a bit tough for estate and letting agents. So many things have affected the market over the last year for agents across the country in both sectors. There are probably too many traditional or under performing players in the market still trying to squeeze market share now.
The very best agents in each area will survive, those agents with local knowledge that you cannot buy or automate – despite the best efforts of the portals. The kind of agent who wants to market their client’s property in the best possible light across the most visible platforms.
Selling or Listing?
The traditional agents that will survive will focus on actually selling property and not just listing property. Those listing agents are dying because the online agents have the listing service sewn up now. Why would you pay 1% on the high street to list on Rightmove if that’s all the agent actually does? There’s a reason those agents that charge a bit more, produce better marketing material and get better prices haven’t lost market share. They actually sell the best property for the most money.
So if the market is fragmenting into premium brands and online agents, what about the middle? What about those really good independents with that knowledge you can’t buy? Well they’re going to have to look at offering something different, maybe spend more on the individual marketing of each property.
Okay so at first glance if the market is getting more competitive, investing in new tech doesn’t appear to be the best solution. This expenditure needs to be looked as not another layer of expense though. By automating administrative tasks you could free up capital to improve the property marketing. New proptech solutions are taking root and agents need to adopt them to future proof themselves as consumer demands change.
Automated integrated lettings solutions, 3D immersive tours, individuals working for web based hybrid agency platforms, augmented and virtual reality tools. The best of the new tech will be adopted by the best agents to compliment them, encourage engagement and minimise time spent on admin. The property industry hasn’t lurched forward in tech terms since Rightmove became a thing and it’s time for some change.